Selecting the best digital piano that’s under the $1,000 price point is difficult, because there are so many quality pianos out there on the market. But another big factor, and much more important in this detailed breakdown, is that there’s a different piano for different people. What a beginner finds to be a quality digital piano, a more advanced player would feel is too limiting or simplistic.
Despite this fact, our in-depth overview will help narrow down your choices to not just the most reasonably priced pianos that are on the market today, but which ones truly are better and stand head and shoulders above their competitors.
Piano Buying Guide
Below, please compare and contrast the best rated pianos under $1,000 based on things like weight, price, and even customer reviews from Amazon.com.
|Yamaha P-125||88||$$||GHS Weighted Action|
|Casio PX-870||88||$$$||Redesigned Cabinet, Speaker System|
|Yamaha YDP-184||88||$$$||Graded Hammer 3 Action (GH3)|
|Casio PX-160||88||$||Dual Headphone Outputs on Front|
|Korg B1||88||$||Onboard Reverb and Chorus effects|
|Roland F-140||88||$$$||SuperNATURAL Piano engine|
|Kawai ES110||88||$$||Bluetooth MIDI|
|Yamaha DGX-660||88||$$||Graded Hammer Standard (GHS) Keyboard|
|Yamaha YDP-143||88||$$$||GHS Weighted Action|
Experience the Best Digital Piano Under $1000
Digital pianos offer piano players of all ages the ability to have a real piano experience in whatsoever environment they desire, at an agreeable price. Digital pianos were first conceptualized and built in the late 1970’s and began to gain prominence in musical circles throughout the 1980’s. With the emergence of musical stars of all kinds came the emergence of pianos that opened up new worlds of performance and musical production. Today musicians are enjoying the product of decades of engineering and precision, all which can be found in some of today’s best electronic pianos.
Below, please take a look at some of the best selling digital pianos currently available on Amazon:
Updated List of Pianos (2018 – 2019)
I wanted to update this article showing off some of the best digital pianos priced under $1,000 for late 2018 and going into 2019, as I feel a few new piano models have been introduced or grown in popularity and are worth discussing.
Let’s begin this article by discussing the Yamaha P-125, which is priced at approximately $500.
The digital piano that replaces the Yamaha P-115 is the Yamaha P-125, and it’s definitely worthy of being on this list. Now, whether or not the Yamaha P-125 is worth upgrading to if you already own the P-115 is up for debate (in fact, check out our article entitled Yamaha P-115 vs Yamaha P-125: Should You Upgrade for more on that exact subject). But, there are a few improvements to the Yamaha P-125 that are worthy of an extra look.
First is the fact that the Yamaha P-125 can be paired with the Smart Pianist app–so long as you have an iPhone or iPad. If you do, you’ll be able to for everything from change sounds to enable dual or split more to recording and saving your musical masterpieces.
Sure, you can do this on the Yamaha P-115 using the Yamaha Digital Piano Controller app. But, if you have the P-125 and the Smart Pianist app downloaded, you can take advantage of a pretty cool learning feature called Chord Chart. What Chord Chart does is allow you to play a song from your iTunes library and the app will begin analyzing the song and display the chord symbols of the music.
This means that, as your favorite song is playing, you’ll be able to play along with it, allowing you to learn how to play some of your favorite jams.
Now, it’s important to remember that Chord Chart won’t be able to successfully analyze every single song from every music genre effectively. But, if you like songs that are in the same mold as Elton John’s “Candle in the Wind” or Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin” or Sting’s “Fields of Gold,” there’s a good chance that you’ll have a lot of fun and success with this feature.
Yes, the Yamaha P-125 is more or less the same size, weight, and has many of the same features as the Yamaha P-125. But with richer, more lush sound and the ability to use the Smart Pianist app that features Chord Chart, I think this is a digital piano that’s incredibly awesome for beginners and certainly worth its $500 price tag.
Also, check out our Yamaha P-125 review, which is the successor to the Yamaha P-115!
The Casio Privia PX-870 (you can read our review of the Casio PX-870 here) is the top of Casio’s Privia line, and combines Casio’s AiR sound source technology along with a 4-position lid simulation that mimics the opening of a real piano lid. The piano is built with a Tri-Sensor scaled hammer action keybed and finishes it off with ebony and ivory textured keys to give it a real feel.
Casio PX-870 vs Yamaha YDP-143
Although the YDP-143 is a pinch over $1,000 (coming in at roughly $1,100, depending on where you shop), I wanted to take some time to compare these two pianos because they are two giant, popular pianos in the market.
The piano tone sounds great on the PX-870, and that becomes especially apparent thanks to a brand new feature with this piano. Because now, a new sound system embedded in the piano projects the music you play both upwards and downwards. This gives off a really nice, rich sound to the ears, as it attempts to mimic the sound and feeling you’d get if you were playing an acoustic piano.
The PX-870 comes with 256 notes of polyphony, so you can feel comfortable knowing that you’ll be able to play more complex pieces on the piano.
The Yamaha YDP-143 is also an excellent performer. Just about $100 more than the PX-870, the Yamaha YDP-143 offers the GHS (Graded Hammer Standard) action. While not the “best of the best” action available that Yamaha has to offer, it’s certainly good enough to give you the impression that you’re playing on a traditional piano.
One thing that’s not quite as good as the PX-870 is the speaker system. The YDP-143 features two oval (12cm x 6cm) speakers, as well as two 6-watt amplifiers. The PX-870, by contrast, rocks a two way, four speaker sound system (12 cm x 2, 4 cm x 2), as well as four 40-watt amplifiers.
Now, the Roland FP-30 is a digital piano that can be had for approximately $700. It’a an 88-key piano that features a PHA-4 Standard keyboard.
This is of course a portable piano, but if you purchase additional accessories like the optional KSC-70 stand or the KPD-70 three-pedal, you can park this beauty somewhere in your home, with the pedals providing you more nuanced control over the music.
Roland FP30 vs Kawai ES110
Now, one digital piano that’s always compared to the Roland FP-30 is the Kawai ES110, so let’s dig into both a little bit here.
These two digital pianos are both portable, and to be honest, they are both a bit similar in heft. The Roland FP-30 is going to be the heavier of the two, coming in at 31 lbs.
Now, there are certainly heavier portable pianos, but if you truly want a digital piano that’s going to be reasonably lightweight (and priced close to the FP-30), then you’ll want to turn your attention to the Kawai ES110.
The ES110, by contrast, clocks in at just 26 pounds.
Another thing I like about both of these pianos is that they both contain Bluetooth connectivity. This is always a nice feature, especially in this highly digital age, because now you can pair your piano to your iPhone or iPad and use either the Roland FP-30 or Kawai ES110 with an app like GarageBand or Notion (or whatever app you most prefer).
In the end, if sound is your sole focus, you might end up very happy with the Kawai ES110. However, if you are interested in touch and key action a bit more, it might be a wise decision to go with the Roland FP30.
And that’s because, with the Kawai ES110, you might notice that there is a bit of noise or even a rattling occurring each time you hit or depress the keys. This can be, as you can imagine, a bit of an issue if you’re playing pianissimo.
At this time, I’m not quite sure if this is a manufacturing defect, or if it’s part of how the piano was intentionally constructed in an attempt to achieve a more realistic touch and feel on the keys.
There are even some who have experienced their Kawai ES110’s arriving with slightly inconsistent key spacing (see video above).
If you get an ES110 with no problems—awesome. But if you receive one that has a bit of key noise, key spacing, or outright key rattling problems, you might wish you had opted for the Roland FP30.
The Yamaha Arius line of digital pianos is popular and very well known for pumping out quality console pianos that, when assembled onto a stand, can give off a fairly nice impression of an upright digital piano in your home.
But while the higher end models of the Arius line get all the love (the YDP-143, YDP-163, YDP-181, and YDP-184 specifically), it’s the Yamaha YDP-103 that’s the excellent and very affordable option.
Now, the Yamaha YDP-103 features Graded Hammer Standard (or GHS) action, which is…well…not the best key action you can get from a Yamaha. It has “Standard” in the name, and it’s exactly that—more than adequate, but it’s the lowest key action on the Yamaha totem pole.
Yamaha YDP 103 vs YDP 143
Funny enough, despite the YDP-143’s cost about $1,100 compared to the YDP-103’s estimated $800 price point, they both share the GHS key action. It’s not until we start comparing the YDP-103 to the YDP-163 that we start seeing a stark shift in the key action within the Arius line.
The YDP-103 is certainly an awesome digital piano for the money, but it is important to be aware of a few things in comparison to a piano like the 143.
For example, with the YDP-143, players can record their very own performance thanks to a built-in recording function contained within the digital piano. All recordings are made via Standard MIDI file (SMF) format. You can also record up to two tracks for simultaneous playback. So if there ever comes a time when you want to record both hands separately, you can do just that.
The YDP-103, by contrast, doesn’t have this built-in recording feature.
And if piano pre-set song variety is something that’s important to you, it’s important to note this difference well: while the YDP-103 is a great digital piano for beginners because it’s a well built machine, it is going to be light on certain features. Specifically, the YDP-103 only comes with 10 piano preset songs.
That’s a drastically low number when you compare it to the YDP-143, which comes with 50 piano pre-set songs and a music book that’s entitled “50 Greats for the Piano.”
If the above features don’t both you, you’ll likely be very happy with the YDP-103. And you’ll save a few hundred bucks, as well.
You can read our review of the Yamaha YDP-103 here.
So this digital piano is incredibly affordable, but you can’t go out into a typical store and purchase it.
And why’s that? Because despite the fact that the P-71 is part of Yamaha’s popular P-series of pianos, the P-71 is also an Amazon exclusive.
With that said, dollar for dollar, this is one of the better digital pianos you can buy on the market. And, weighing about 25 pounds, it’ll be extremely easy for you to pick up and carry to and from your home, or to and from different projects or gigs that you’re involved in.
Yamaha P71 vs Yamaha P45:
So, the Yamaha P71 probably compares most favorably to the P45. The P-71 costs about $400, while the P45 barely rises above that cost at roughly $450.
So then, you might be asking yourself the following question: What in the world is the difference between the Yamaha P71 and Yamaha P45.
Well, here’s the kicker—nothing.
There actually is no difference between these two digital pianos. You’ll find their specs to be identical across the board.
But don’t just take my word for it. Even on Yamaha’s own FAQ page, someone from Yamaha answered a question asking about the difference between the Yamaha P71 and P45.
Their response? There are no differences. In their words, the “P-71 is identical to the P-45.”
So, if you like to shop on Amazon, it would probably behoove you to simply purchase the Yamaha P71 over the P45 and save about $50 in the process.
You can enjoy reading our Yamaha P71 review here!
I think it’s worth mentioning one more digital piano in the P-series line (and no, it’s not the Yamaha P-515—that’s far above the $1,000 budget we’ve set here).
No, I’m actually talking about another new addition to the P-series line—the Yamaha P-121. This is a keyboard that features just 73-weighted keys, instead of the normal 88.
This smaller piano features some of the pretty cool features seen in the Yamaha P-125—like better, richer sound, a cool Table EQ feature (playing your piano on a hard surface, like a table, won’t stop your sound from reigning supreme), and the ability to use the Smart Pianist app, which I think is a pretty fun and interactive application.
Priced around $500 to $550, the P-121 is definitely a keyboard worth keeping on your radar. For some, it may be a utter deal breaker that there are not 88 keys present on the keyboard. But depending on where you are in your piano playing development, this might not be something that’s of too much concern for you.
What Makes a Great Digital Piano?
There are many things that make a digital piano great. Anything from the design of the piano to its range of selection, to its affordability can catch the attention of a consumer. Those that do well on the market tend to have a viable combination of many of these characteristics. The best will set itself above all others by defining class and precision with the greatest selection of sound powered by the equally greatest technology. However, each piano player reserves the right to determine his own opinion about which digital pianos are really the best. A general consensus can be determined from the popularity and sales success of different models.
A quality digital piano will have a number of important features. Most piano players look for weighted keys and precisely engineered hammer action technology. This keybed design allows the piano to be graded, weighted, and strike almost exactly in the same manner as the keys on a real acoustic piano. The best digital piano will also feature state of the art wave sampling and audio generation technology, producing the most quality instrument sounds. Sleek designs and portability features also play and important role, as well as electronic connectivity ability and features such as a digital piano stand or foot pedal. Of course, the price many times is the deciding factor, with the best pianos giving the consumer the most value for their hard earned money.
Best Selling Pianos on the Market
The Yamaha P-115 (you can read our review of the Yamaha P-115 here) is one of the best-selling digital pianos on the market today, and it is because of the combination of size, compatibility, engineering, and design. It has full-length set of 88 weighted Graded Hammer Standard keys, with a whopping 128-note polyphony weighing in at only 25 pounds. Little details like two headphone jacks, USB and auxiliary ports are just the icing on the cake.
The Casio Celviano AP-420 showcases the power of an upright piano’s presence, while bringing the necessary features of a digital piano. With 88 Scaled Weighted Hammer action keys and 128 notes of polyphony, it will make the consumer feel as if he’s sitting behind a real acoustic piano.
Beginner vs. Advanced
Throughout the world of digital pianos there is a great range in variety concerning the expertise level of each digital piano. The variety found throughout ensures that no consumer should feel out of place using a machine he or she feels is too advanced or possibly not advanced enough. Beginner and entry level piano players can find digital pianos for affordable and bargain prices, and still be able to find enough quality and precision to match a real acoustic piano. Intermediate level players have a number of options, with many digital pianos offering a combination of features that aren’t too complicated and are also affordable. Expert and advanced level players will gravitate towards pianos with all the accommodations from the best technology, widest range of selection, and most fashionable design.
Some of the best beginner digital pianos can be found in each prominent brand. For instance, Korg features the Korg B1 digital piano (which recently replaced the popular Korg SP-170s). The B1 has everything a relatively new piano player will need (let alone someone with some experience under his or her belt) with a full 88-weighted keyboard, hammer action technology and 120 notes of polyphony.
Casio has a similar beginner model with the Casio PX-160, which also has scaled hammer action technology, full length of 88 keys, but only a maximum polyphony of 128 notes. The PX-160 replaced the very popular Casio PX-150, and has remained a best seller on popular websites such as Amazon for quite some time.
Brand new to the world of piano and really need a solid starter keyboard? Well, you can and should strongly consider keyboards such as the the Williams Allegro, Yamaha NP-12, and the Williams Legato. These pianos usually range anywhere from $200-$400.
Intermediate digital pianos come with a much wider range of firepower. These pianos go beyond the elementary limitations and allow the piano player to record, compose, and enjoy a higher level of digital expertise. One of these pianos is Yamaha’s bestselling P-105 (which has since been replaced by the Yamaha P-115), which is known for its combination of portability and style, all while encompassing 88 keys and Yamaha’s Graded Hammer Standard System. A number of Casio’s Privia digital pianos fall in this category as well, with the PX-130, PX-150 (and the recently released PX-160), and PX-350 all showcasing Casio’s Scaled Hammer Action System along with its Damper Resonance and AiR sound source. You can find most of these pianos for $400-$800.
Many of the advanced digital pianos are stage pianos, workstations, or upright console pianos. These pianos offer everything the designers have to offer, from sound systems, highest level hammer action, design, and quality. The Yamaha Motif XF8, one of the most coveted pieces of machinery on the market, is certainly one of these.
Other models in this category are the Yamaha P255, Casio Privia PX-860, and other pianos in the Celviano, Clavinova, Arius, and MODUS lines. Any of these pianos can run you from $800 to upwards of $5,000.
If this article helped you, we very much encourage you to read some of our most recently published articles that we think you might find helpful:
- Yamaha P-45 review
- Yamaha Arius YDP-103 review
- Yamaha Arius YDP-143 review
- Yamaha YDP-184 review
- The Best Digital Pianos in 2018 to Buy on the Market
- Yamaha P-115 vs Yamaha P-255: Comparison Review
- Yamaha DGX-660 vs Yamaha P-115: Comparison Review
- 5 Digital Pianos Advanced Players Will Love
- Digital Stage Pianos Under $2,000: Ranking the Best of the Best
- How Do I Find the Best Digital Piano Available?
And for anyone looking to save money, we encourage you to read our article about the Best Digital Piano Under $500.
And, if you’re actually willing to spend a little bit more more in hopes of attaining a little bit more quality, please be sure to read our article: Best Digital Pianos Under $2,000.
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